The rising importance of the passing game at the NFL level, as well as the ever-rising wide receiver salaries in free agency has turned the wide receiver into a “cornerstone” position.
Wide receivers are being drafted early and often, and that can create opportunities for players to rise up draft boards. We’ve also seen teams shift preferences in the type of receivers they target and accept smaller body types.
That could open the door for Oklahoma wide receiver Marvin Mims to step forward and emerge as a top playmaker at the position. Mims wasn’t targeted often last year, only making 32 catches all season, but he made the most of his opportunities and averaged an impressive 22.0 yards per catch.
The Giants haven’t shown much concern for player size in their first draft under Joe Schoen. Could that put Mims on the Giants’ radar in 2022?
WR, Oklahoma, Junior
Yards: 705 (22.0 per catch)
- Great competitive toughness.
- Great concentration and looks the ball into his hands
- Extends to maximize his catch radius.
- Very good quickness and body control.
- Good all-around athlete.
- Adjusts to the ball in the air.
- Understands route and coverage concepts to find space down the field.
- Great vision with the ball in his hands.
- Plays all three receiver positions.
- Slight frame with only average-at-best length.
- Lacks play strength, might struggle to play through heavy contact.
- Didn’t run a particularly varied route tree.
Why is he a top prospect?
Oklahoma’s Marvin Mims is a versatile, athletic, and talented receiving prospect. He might just be the best receiver to come out of the state of Texas and currently holds the state record for high school career receiving yards (5,485). His senior season alone, he recorded 117 receptions for 2,629 yards (the state single-season record), and 32 receiving touchdowns. Mims was voted a Freshman All-American after his 2020 season at Oklahoma, and was the first Oklahoma freshman receiver to receive those honors.
Mims has the versatility to line up at all three receiving positions (X, Flanker, and Slot), and is able to execute out of all three. He has a variety of release strategies, using his nimble footwork against man coverage as well as his quick acceleration against zone coverage. Mims is a quick processor with a good understanding of route combinations and coverage schemes. He’s able to maximize his receiving windows as well as find coverage voids to create run-after-catch opportunities.
Mims is a reliable catcher of the football with great concentration and body control. He routinely looks the ball into his hands and can maintain concentration to haul in circus catches way outside of his framework. Likewise, he has good body control to adjust and contort to give himself the best chance to make the catch. He has good vision with the ball in his hands and is always a threat to pick up yards after the catch when he has any room at all.
Finally, Mims plays much bigger than his listed size. Interestingly, he was frequently used as a blocker on bubble screens and down the field on running plays. He has solid blocking technique with good hip level and hand placement, and he plays with ferocious competitive toughness.
What to improve for 2022?
Mims can’t do much about his slight frame. His naturally slender build will certainly concern some NFL teams, and he only has so much room to add mass as he matures. Mims will have to continue to polish up his hand usage and footwork to help beat press coverage at the line of scrimmage.
That said, he can still work to build play strength while remaining a functional athlete. Mims’ greatest strength is his quickness and body control, and he can’t sacrifice those for a bit of extra size. But more play strength will still help him play through contact in traffic, break tackle attempts in space, and hold up as a blocker to match his competitive toughness.
Mims would also do well to continue to build on his route tree. He runs the routes in his repertoire well, but a more diverse route tree will allow him to produce more and more quickly at the NFL level. If Mims can show improved production in the absence of Lincoln Riley, that could cement his position as one of the top receiving prospects in the upcoming draft.
One game to watch
Oklahoma has some (potentially) great games on its schedule. I was tempted to list their games against West Virginia and Baylor, and the Bedlam rivalry game with Oklahoma State is always a highlight of the college football season. However, I have to go with their October 8th matchup against the Texas Longhorns.
Texas has amassed a lot of talent over the last few months, highlighted by Arch Manning’s commitment and Quinn Ewer transferring from Ohio State to Texas. Texas should have a good defense to test Mims, and Oklahoma could well need its offense firing on all cylinders to keep pace. This is the perfect opportunity for Mims to emerge as a top flight playmaker on the national stage.